First Thursdays

First Thursdays are outdoor festivals that showcase the diversity of arts and humanities at IU Bloomington and offer a welcoming environment for students to explore new creative outlets and engage with the work of their peers and faculty members. Previous festivities have included everything from opera signers to breakdancers, stage-fighting to clay-throwing, and much, much more. Each First Thursday is unique, and each is a great opportunity to experience the wonderful work of artists, performers, and scholars from all across campus.

The April First Thursday will carry on the spirit of our larger festivals with a special emphasis on supporting local artists. The festival will offer unique opportunities for creative exploration and engagement, but with a focus on small-stage performances and individual activities spread out around several Open Air Venues. This First Thursday Trail will allow for better social-distancing and other public safety measures. 

The full lineup of April performers and activities will be announced soon. 

Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper

Conrad Prebys Amphitheater


Grammy Award-winning bluegrass fiddler Michael Cleveland and his band, Flamekeeper, headline the April First Thursday with an outdoor performance for the entire community. Cleveland hails from Henryville, IN, and he has performed at the Grand Ole Opry and before the U.S. Congress, among many other places. He has been recognized by the International Bluegrass Music Association as Fiddle Player of the Year 11 times. 

Open Air Venues & Performances

Metz Carillon Stage
Woodburn Clock Stage
Conrad Prebys Amphitheater


Several food trucks will be on campus during the First Thursday Festival, courtesy of our friends at IU Dining!